Russell Nichols is a freelance writer who focuses on technology, culture and mental health. His work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Governing Magazine and Government Technology.
Nytch, a Woodland-based mobile app, connects independent, offline businesses to local shoppers looking for specific items.
Since 2015, Comstock’s has spotlighted more than 60 regional startups in our Startup of the Month column. Here are five standouts from the column that are going stronger than ever.
With gift cards continuing to soar in popularity, a Woodland-based startup aims to bring their convenience to small businesses while cutting down on plastic.
With industries moving at the speed of the internet, many companies have trouble keeping pace. Zennify, a Sacramento-based cloud solutions and consulting firm, wants to help legacy businesses catch up.
Humaxa uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing to help employers boost productivity and satisfaction among their workforce.
The job hunt looks different than it did 40 years ago. Kurt Lemons found that out the hard way after dusting off his resume to send to big-box retailers and car dealer- ships. “I didn’t need the money, just something to keep me busy and off my butt,” says Lemons, who is 75 and lives in Placer County. “I sent out resumes, but all I got was crickets.”
In California, where 90 percent of American strawberries are grown, the time is ripe for a faster, better way to pick them. That’s the idea behind Advanced Farm Technologies, a Davis-based startup that uses customized tools to lend farmers a helping robotic hand.
Medical carts are mobile storage units for health care equipment, supplies and medication, and may include workstations for access to electronic data.
If your manager tosses you a $200 gift card for reaching a milestone, it’s nothing personal — and according to Anna Straus, that’s a problem when it comes to employee retention and workplace productivity.
After years of planning and restructuring, Clark Pacific, the West Sacramento based provider of prefabricated systems, has completed a phase of transformation as a one-stop shop for general design, engineering, architecture, field operations and manufacturing.
PairAnything, run by an eight-person team, won the $10,000 Food + Agriculture Sector Award at the 2019 Big Bang Business Competition at UC Davis.
Before 2012, Nick Barbato was a software developer working in a cubicle, and he was miserable. He wanted more control over his life, so he left that job to start a company called Pangia Games. Not long after he and his cofounder, Lee Hobbs, released their first game, he received an email in 2013 from someone who played it.
Prior to 2019, the California Retail Food Code had strict limits on which facilities could store, package and serve food at the retail level. These restrictions were put in place for health and sanitation purposes.
As a leadership educator and coach working from home, Leslie Bosserman had a tough time being fully present with both her first child and her clients. Eight months into her second pregnancy, she came up with the idea for The Makers Place, a Sacramento-based coworking space customized for families.
Sacramento boasted of being one of the first four test cities for Verizon’s 5G network, with officials calling it a major step toward the future. But nearly a year after launch, none of the city’s eight council districts have full 5G coverage — and it isn’t clear when any of them will.
For Akshay Prabhu, nothing ties a meal together like community. His Davis-based startup, Foodnome, reflects that philosophy, turning regular homes into restaurants the way Uber turned regular cars into taxis.
The first book Amy Altstatt wrote was about a little girl in a world in which color represents what one wants to be when grown up. The girl tries different colors to see which one suits her, but none feels right. Then she cries, and, in her rainbow tears, she realizes all the colors are part of her.
When HealthCare.gov — the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchange website — went live in 2013, it was slow, buggy and hard to navigate — a digital mess. Two weeks later, three programmers in the Bay Area launched HealthSherpa.com, an alternative website to help online shoppers understand their options under the ACA and see plans and prices quickly.
Throughout the region, public and private-sector players are rethinking women’s health, expanding and diversifying their approach to maternal and infant health.
Nematodes pose a conundrum to farmers. The worm-like microscopic creatures are everywhere. Some are parasitic, infecting plants and destroying crops — but others actually attack insect pests. The ability to target the “bad” while leaving the “good” unharmed would be a boon for agricultural production.
Eric Sweet used to be a pilot, hauling cargo and flying corporate jets. Then he tried his hand at real estate. Now, through his Sacramento-based startup, Robotics Evolution, he’s focused on educating youth on robotics by offering special arenas where their robots can compete in various competitions.
As part of an entrepreneurship course at UC Davis, Mathew Magno was instructed to come up with a problem to solve. He didn’t think twice: Magno wanted to solve the nightmare that is finding a place to park.
City officials and developers are eyeing transit hubs for residential projects — but can it be effective in the Capital Region, which lacks the mass transit hubs of larger cities?
Anybody who says video games are bad for your health hasn’t met Dr. Tony Simon.
Telehealth is on the rise throughout the Capital Region, with video visits that save patients and hospitals both time and money. But can it reach the patients who need it the most?
For more than 50 years, Yolo Family Service Agency provided mental health services to Yolo County. In May, the small nonprofit agency shut down for good.
California is in the throes of a mental health crisis. But there’s a severe shortage of mental health professionals, which experts predict will only get worse. Comstock’s looks into access to mental health resources and efforts to get services to the people who need them most.
The Sacramento-based startup makes cannabis-infused topical skin care products and for Chelsea Dudgeon, CEO and cofounder, her grandmother was “a tough sell” in the beginning.
The Tuesday after renowned chef Anthony Bourdain committed suicide, Patrick Mulvaney asked for help. The owner of Mulvaney’s B&L restaurant in Midtown Sacramento could no longer cook in good conscience — but he needed guidance.
In 2017, Aaron Watkins launched a rental service called STEMtrunk because he doesn’t believe educational toys should be left behind. He calls his Yuba City-based startup “Netflix for learning toys” because it works with the same subscription-based concept.
Before big-time Sacramento developer Mort Friedman passed away in 2012, he handed the keys of the family business to his son, Mark Friedman. The transition was relatively seamless. Mort’s other sons pursued careers outside the industry and in different cities.
More than 10 million people live with Parkinson’s disease and there is no cure. Decades ago it was thought that exercise could exacerbate symptoms of the disease; now studies show it to be effective in delaying the onset of symptoms.
Anu Snacks produces snack bars from spent beer grain, mixed with dried fruit and nuts with various coatings. The idea was a hit, winning $17,500 in prizes this year at the UC Davis Big Bang! competition for entrepreneurship.
With Rhombus Systems cameras, customers can view and share livestreams, manage unlimited locations from one console and set up other features.
Full of electrolytes, this drink supports light to strenuous activity levels, repleting and rehydrating the body without excess sugars and calories.
With the deployment of Verizon’s 5G wireless network on the horizon in 2018, some say Sacramento has the potential to become a lightning rod for tech. Is there truth to the hype?
She’s a four-time breast cancer survivor who has been through nine surgeries. But for Cinde Dolphin, the post-surgery process has always been a pain, specifically the drain bulbs.
In 2018, Golden Pacific Bank is an anomaly, one of the few remaining community banks in the Capital Region to emerge in the past 10 years and not be acquired by a larger entity.
Even though 76 percent of Americans think fast food is “not too good” or “not good at all for you,” almost half say they eat fast food at least weekly, according to a 2013 Gallup poll.
Clean carpets, proper ventilation and special filters may help keep allergens out of the workplace. Another strategy entails sealing cracks in a building to make sure unwanted particles can’t sneak in.
Allergies are the sixth-leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S and result in nearly 4 million missed or lost workdays each year and over $700 million in lost productivity. We talk to local experts about ways to keep them at bay, both medical and holistic.
You might say Dr. Charles Lee created a synthetic bone graft substitute by accident.
Mike Malinowski, president of the Streamline Institute, had a plan.
With 26 industry professionals, he set out to create a program that streamlines permitting for construction in the Sacramento region. The idea was that with clear standards for building document content and organization plus a checklist used by all participating jurisdictions, plan examiners, building officials and design professionals could be on the same page.
In the early 2000s, Mariah Lichtenstern was an undergrad studying the rhetoric of narrative and image at UC Berkeley and starting a boutique production company in the Bay Area. That was when Napster was disrupting the music industry in a way that would leave it forever changed.
In 2014, the City of Sacramento’s construction valuation (which tracks the dollar amount of issued permits) was $390 million, but by June 2018, that valuation will be about $1.5 billion (adjusted for inflation), according to Ryan DeVore, Sacramento’s community development director.
Permitting can be a logistical mess for developers, while the future of economic development depends on this process. Efforts to improve the process find that enhanced communication trumps speed in terms of efficiency.
Around the world, 2.1 billion people lack safe drinking water at home. This Sacramento startup aims to make a difference.
If you have any stake in Stockton’s economy, you know the pain of watching residents (a.k.a. super commuters) leave the city to work in the Bay Area every day of the week.
For almost a decade, David Sypnieski has been working in the ag-tech space, focusing on the production and processing levels of California’s food system. Six years ago, he noticed a major hole in the supply chain: Food companies and growers didn’t have solid, easy-to-access data to help them evolve with the times.
The most common reason people visit their doctor might surprise you. It’s not back problems, high blood pressure or diabetes. According to a 2013 survey by the Mayo Clinic, the No. 1 reason is skin disorders.